Canada and the US are 'coordinating' on reopening borders

Canada and the US are 'coordinating' on reopening borders - even if it's asynchronous

 Senior Canadian and US envoys insisted on Friday that countries remain committed to a coordinated easing of Covid-19 border restrictions. Biden administration renewed its restrictions on land crossings between the United States and Canada until at least August 21.

 Trudeau government announced that it will begin allowing fully vaccinated Americans to enter Canada for discretionary travel on August 9.

," Kristen Hellman, Canada's ambassador to the United States, told an online broadcast hosted by the Wilson Center's Canada Institute. "But formatting doesn't mean you'll do the same thing, and, from the start, we haven't done the same."

Countries put the restrictions in March 2020 to slow Covid-19. But with vaccination rates on the rise, families separated from their loved ones, business leaders, and lawmakers have called on governments to reopen land crossings to non-essential travel.

Prime Minister Trudeau and President Biden promised their February "roadmap" a "coordinated approach" to lifting public health restrictions at the border.

 Hellman noted that US bases have allowed Canadians to travel to the US throughout the pandemic, while Canada has restricted travel at land borders and flights.

"Coordination is about sharing information; it is about making sure where we can implement it as smooth away as possible," Our experts and our country taught us what is happening to us on the ground. The United States is doing the same."

Arnold Chacon, Chargé d'Affairs at the US Embassy in Ottawa, told the event he agreed with Hillman's comments and added that cross-border consultations were still ongoing.

 This week's US border decision frustrated US lawmakers and business leaders calling for a faster reopening.

Beren Beatty, president, and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, expressly referred to Biden Trudeau's pledge in his February roadmap.

"Less than five months later, it appears Washington has lost its copy," Petty said in a statement. " fully vaccinated Canadians will be allowed to enter the United States poses a public health threat when travel within the United States is unrestricted. … The Government of Canada should pressure the US administration to reverse its policy."

White House Press Secretary Psaki told reporters exploring how to reopen the United States for international travel, not just for tourism but family reunification.

Psaki also posed the question of what can be learned from Canada. More than 60 % of eligible Canadians are now fully immunized, compared to about 50 percent in the United States.

With Canadian numbers expected to rise, the White House may hear more about cross-border vaccine comparisons.

"First, I would say 162 million Americans have now been vaccinated," Psaki said. "This is a positive step. We are the first to say - and we have said for a long time - that this is not enough. We need to ensure that more people and more communities are vaccinated."

Psaki added that the United States is the world's largest provider of vaccines to the global community.

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